By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is the perfect name for a condition: community acquired pneumonia. The name describes a form of pneumonia that is contracted outside of the hospital. More than that, it is an important difference because people who get pneumonia at the hospital often have different bacterial, viral or other causes than those who get it outside.

Community acquired pneumonia attacks those who are vulnerable; either the very young or the elderly. Obviously, anyone can be affected, but these age groups have the highest risk.

The most common cause of community acquired pneumonia is a bacterium called strep pneumoniae, but doctors have to perform lab tests to figure out whether there is strep or one of the other major causes.

Prompt care is very important as well as preventive treatments like the pneumococcal vaccine. All this can help prevent problems before they occur.